Size / / /

The boy and his father

were deep sea fishing;

the small boy, cutting bait.

Suddenly, a monstrous shark

rose halfway out of the water next to the boat

and swallowed the boy whole.

Inside the shark,

knife still in hand,

even in the dark the boy knew what to do.

He cut the soul out of the shark.

Immediately, the sky opened with teeth

and the boy escaped the darkness

unscathed.

Still, something hard

escaped with the boy.

He was, as always, himself to the eye,

but the hearts of those who knew him

caught other glimpses.

At the beach, when he swam in the sea,

he moved swiftly

with a sort of deadly determination

that drove others to the shore.

While friends swam to the wooden platform

and rested there in the sun, laughing,

he drove on past

and further and further into the sea.

One day,

a friend, looking west from the platform,

saw a giant white form

rise in front of the distant swimmer,

come down like sea spray over the boy,

and then both the boy and vision were gone,

replaced by a dark fin

cutting out to sea.




Cathy Ackerson’s poetry has appeared in venues including Caprice, The Dragonfly, Out of Sight, and the anthologies But Is It Poetry? and Poets West. Her artwork has appeared in several publications from Dragonfly Press including Rocket Candy.
Duane Ackerson's poetry has appeared in Rolling Stone, Yankee, Prairie Schooner, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Cloudbank, alba, Starline, Dreams & Nightmares, and several hundred other places. He has won two Rhysling awards and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Salem, Oregon. You can find more of his work in our archives.
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